Problem with auto-spacing of lyrics when adding words to grace notes (!)...

I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Here’s a passage prior to before I added lyrics:
Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 12.51.56 AM.png
Now, here it is once I’ve typed in lyrics (in Page view):
Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 12.52.33 AM.png
The syllable “Har” should start on the grace-note, and I then entered a hyphen to indicate I wanted the next note to be skipped such that the final part of the word (“lem”) should fall on the concert Eb. However, when I do this (as you can see), the lyrics spacing is very glitchy. Am I doing something wrong or is this some sort of bug?

I should add that the same problem happens when I try to under an “underline” (to indicate to hold out a syllable, before going to a new word on the subsequent note), as in this example:
Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 1.07.09 AM.png
Thanks for any help!

  • D.D.

It’s not so much a bug as a limitation in Dorico’s spacing algorithm. Grace notes are considered for note spacing in a different way to other kinds of items, because they are effectively spaced as their own little runs of music and then inserted at a fixed width into the flexible width of a system.

However, it’s unusual to write the syllable on the grace note in this kind of situation: provided you don’t need a different syllable for the grace note itself, it’s more customary to write the lyric on the main note. The singer will do the right thing anyway!

As a professional singer, I totally second Daniel’s advice. We always start the graces notes with the syllable that comes on the “real” note (except when we’re talking about grace notes slurred to the previous note, of course).

Another professional singer in complete agreement.

I’d like to chime in in agreement as a professional keyboard player who has played huge amounts of vocal repertoire with a lot of singers.

Definitely the solution, then - thanks all!

  • D.D.

Sorry for “refloating” an old topic…

Gould suggests lyrics on the exact position of every syllable with its note


I was trying to do so with a flamenco line I’m transcribing (very complex melismas sometimes), but what I get by default needs a lot of manual work:

The a) Gould’s option hasn’t either a perfect result:

Captura de pantalla 2021-07-31 a las 12.26.36

Any idea about how this can be handled?

Consider altering the alignment of those syllables in the Properties panel.

I don’t ever begrudge anyone wanting an automatic solution, but I do think we have been spoiled by dorico’s algorithms and we forget sometimes that good old fashioned engraving is necessary.

1 Like

I should have mentioned that this flamenco work has a lot of these melismas, almost every 2nd bar of a long set of songs (more than an hour of music) has those. Manual alignment is not an option for me, so I’ll finally leave them so.

I’m not asking for a “good old fashioned engraving”, but for a clear one, in fact, the Gould’s option for complex music, like flamenco, full of melismas: